Eggplant Gratin

My family is addicted to this dish and I make it ALL the time. I make it so much because you don’t need great tomatoes to make it work, because you can use it as a relish on any kind of meat or fish or as the hero on all-veggie plate and because it’s good for you. Oh. Did I mention it’s so delicious you’ll weep with pleasure? Well, that too.
Here we go…a little more time-intensive than anything else I do but worth it. Make a bunch so you can eat it all week long on everything. You’ll need:
Parmesan cheese
First. Slice a large (or two) eggplant diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Salt them and leave them to sweat. Thirty minutes later, rinse and blot with a paper towel. Set up two large frying pans (you can use one but learn from my many years of doing this–have two pans going at once so you’re not in the kitchen all afternoon.) Coat the bottoms of the hot pans with olive oil and fry up your eggplant slices. You want them golden so watch ’em closely and turn with tongs. Meanwhile, combine 1/2-cup grated Parmesan, 2 tsps fresh oregano, 4 minced garlic cloves (I use about ten but my family’s mad for garlic) and set aside. Slice up tomatoes (you can use plum tomatoes if you want) in about 1/4-inch slices. Once the eggplant is done (you’ll be removing the done ones to a pan or paper towel as you go along), arrange the eggplant and tomato slices in alternating rows in a gratin that’s been coated with cooking spray. Spoon the garlic cheese mixture between the slices and bake covered for an hour at 375 degrees. Pull off the cover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Then, get ready to die happy.

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